Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bend over and say credit or savings?

What are pilots afraid of? Bad weather? Mid-air collision? Mechanical failure? Running out of fuel?

Ask any pilot what they are afraid of, what they loathe, and more often than not the answer you will get is - the medical exam. It's something that can't be avoided, flown over, planned around, repaired. Essentially you have little control over your fitness to fly. Although you can try and stay in shape, you can't avoid the nasty surprises your body has in store for you as you get older. When your sight/hearing/heart decides to quit, it just quits.

The second most common answer to come up would be - the regulatory authorities, CASA, FAA, CAA, whatever they happen to be called, the faceless monolithic bureaucracy handing missives from on high, seemingly at random and often at odds with commercial and physical reality.

Where the two meet is the Medical Certificate, a piece of paper verifying to all and sundry your physical and mental fitness to operate a flying machine.

And so I wait. Having paid the best part of $500 for the privilege of being prodded, poked, photographed, catalogued, scrutinised, jabbed with needles, attached with electrodes, orifices peered into, appendages fondled, endless forms completed, I wait. The medical profession have deemed me worthy. Still, I am grounded while the powers-that-be attend to other matters, before deigning despatch my treasured document, my Class One Medical Certificate. You can submit your medical certificate application up to 45 days before it is due, they tell me. Yes, I did. Apparently I haven't factored in my favourite public servants pissing off for Easter. Perhaps I will have more luck next year, when Easter falls a little later.

I gaze through the window at the birds flying past. Do they have medical certificates, I wonder? Probably not. They have no bank accounts, after all.


At 6:07 pm, Anonymous tuners are cats said...

scaredy cat


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